Read Chris McCarthy, CEO, Hear and Say.
How important is branding and business identity to your organisation?
In 2017, we are ushering in a new generation of deaf children who listen and speak. This requires a collaboration between government, philanthropic, community and commercial funding partners to enable a dedicated team of professionals, parents and supporters.
We reflect on the need to change the perceptions of and work with parents, professionals, politicians, philanthropists and the public to raise expectations for deaf children, change how people think they communicate and reduce the impact of this impairment on individuals, families and the community. This complex and complicated interplay between internal and external stakeholders means a strong and positive brand and business identity is vital to the long-term success of our clients and to our sustainability.
What are the positives and negatives with your current branding?
Hear and Say turns 25 in 2017 so it has a significant history. As a founded organisation, many of our stakeholders feel a very strong linkage between the organisational brand and the personal brand of the founder, which brings both opportunities and challenges.
As our reach and impact expands, some partners find it difficult to grow with the increasing sophistication of the brand. Our strong paediatric focus over the years also means some external observers are unable to see the brand linked to anything other than childhood deafness and cochlear implants. Conversely, Hear and Say has been built on our reputation for excellence and family centred care, and this commitment to ensuring child outcomes means the brand remains strong for many stakeholder groups.
Have you changed your branding in recent times or do you plan to change it?
In 2014/2015 we completed a capital campaign program for our Brisbane centre and headquarters’ building and, as a part of the associated organisational transformation, launched a new suite of brand artefacts including our logo, tagline and general ‘look and feel’. As the NDIS, new commercial competitors, changing customer expectations and the increasing complexity of the sector all impact on us, it is important that we remain relevant and respond to the changing needs of our children and families as clientele.
While our core purpose will likely remain unchanged, opportunities to increase our reach and impact, in addition to the volatility, uncertainty and complexity of our changing market, means it is important that we continue to review the brand to remain relevant and contemporary.